Newcastle United 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Magpie misery reaches new low with fourth straight home loss (video)

Leave a comment

Uncharacteristically soft goals allowed by Tim Krul in each half and a gorgeous strike from Nacer Chadli condemned Newcastle to its fourth-straight home defeat as Tottenham Hotspur eased into and out of a 4-0 win at St. James Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice and Paulinho added another as Spurs can now see their path to the top of the Premier League table. Chadli’s goal came very late, as Tottenham pulled with seven points of first place Chelsea.

Newcastle opened with a strike force featuring plenty of questions. Could Papiss Cisse find his form alongside an on-loan Luuk de Jong, who hasn’t played much for anyone this year?

The fifth minute saw the game’s first chance, as Paulinho worked down the right side and around Newcastle’s Davide Santon. He cut towards goal before feeding Adebayor, whose low curling shot went wide of the goal.

Spurs controlled possession for a while after that, with an in-tight Paulinho chance forcing Tim Krul to punch out for a corner kick.

Newcastle won a free kick and then a corner in the 12th minute. The Magpies are still sorting out their set plays with Yohan Cabaye off to PSG, but can be encouraged by Santon’s effort that pinged around the box before Spurs cleared.

The visitors struck in the 19th minute, as Nabil Bentaleb shook off Moussa Sissoko before trying a shot on Krul from the left. The keeper should’ve controlled it but instead pushed it into the path of Adebayor, who tapped home the rebound to make it 1-0.

Sammy Ameobi tried to counter immediately, leading to a throw-in. In fact, Ameobi was Newcastle’s threat for most of the half, providing prime opportunities for Yoan Gouffran and Cisse… both missed.

The hosts’ best chance came late, when De Jong laid off a nice ball for Sissoko that the midfielder sent screaming over the frame from just outside the 18. Though the match had its Magpie moments, Spurs unquestionably deserved the lead.

Tottenham doubled its lead in the 53rd minute. Paulinho made a deft backheel touch to Adebayor, whose low shot wasn’t dangerous but Krul couldn’t control off his dive. Mike Williamson stood and watched as Paulinho followed the shot to goal to tap in the loose ball, making it 2-0.

The introduction of Geordie boy Paul Dummett at half injected some life into the match and he lashed wide from the left just before the clock struck 70.

Hatem Ben Arfa also featured, sending a ball in that the Magpies headed over in the 74th minute as Newcastle poured forward.

Krul had been fantastic in the first meeting, but the big saves in this one came courtesy of Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, who made several nice stops in the final third.

Adebayor limped off after tucking another rebound home to condemn Newcastle to its third straight 3-0 defeat. They’ve appeared a shell of a club since Cabaye’s departure, and one of the Premier League’s rowdiest venue was quiet as a mouse.

Chadli’s first Premier League was an absolute stunner. Staring at goal from outside the edge of the 18, Chadli tore off a curling shot into the top right corner.

LINEUPS

Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon (Dummett, 46); Gouffran, Sissoko (c), Anita, Sammy Ameobi (Marveaux 71); de Jong (Ben Arfa, 63), Cisse.

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele (Townsend 64), Bentaleb, Capoue, Paulinho, Lennon (Chadli, 75); Adebayor (Soldado, 84).

Goals: Adebayor (19, 82), Paulinho (53), Chadli (88)

USMNT eyeing the table as it kicks off training camp

Getty Images
Leave a comment

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) Goalkeeper Tim Howard‘s uniform was filled with grass stains after the first day of training camp.

And this was considered a light workout.

“Just getting everybody back together, getting a sweat,” Howard said Monday after the U.S. squad went through a roughly 60-minute workout. “Day by day, we’re just trying to add on to the pile, put some concepts in and get some understanding between players.”

What awaits the squad in resumption of the final round of World Cup qualifying is certainly a gantlet. They have a game against Trinidad and Tobago on June 8 in Commerce City and then at Mexico three days later.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

There’s little margin for error, with the U.S. currently in fourth place in the six-team standings. They have three home and three away matches remaining. The top three teams qualify, with the fourth-place squad going to a playoff against Asia’s No. 5 nation.

“We need to keep climbing that table. We feel like this is a good opportunity to do it,” said Howard, now with the Colorado Rapids and who will feel right at home with the Trinidad game on his turf at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. “One game, that’s as far as you can look. You can’t look to next week or the week after or two months from now.”

For now, Howard will be coach Bruce Arena’s goalkeeper over Brad Guzan, Ethan Horvath and Nick Rimando, who all were invited to camp. But it’s an ongoing evaluation.

“We have good goalkeepers here. That’s the least of my worries, to be honest,” Arena said.

Given the short amount of time between games, Arena fully plans on using more players than usual. One particular competition to watch will be at right back between Timmy Chandler and DeAndre Yedlin.

“I have a close eye on everything,” Arena said. “We have a bunch of good players here. … We’re watching everybody and thinking about how we can best utilize everyone.”

[ MORE: Kroenke, Wenger meet; Decision looms ]

The roster features a solid blend of youth and experience. Leading the youngsters is Christian Pulisic, the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder who last weekend became the youngest American to win a club medal in Europe.

On the veteran side are players such as Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley and Howard, all of whom have more than 30 World Cup qualifying appearances.

“We’re past the experimentation phase. These are all guys who the manager believes in whole-heartedly,” Howard said. “They’re not here for anything other than to play minutes, play important minutes.”

Arena couldn’t agree more.

“This is a nice group we have here. Hopefully, we can find the right balance in the team, putting them in the right position to complement them both individually and collectively,” Arena said. “If we can accomplish that, there’s no reason to believe we can’t be successful in these two games.”

Joining the camp in Colorado are a few players who weren’t with the squad in March. Guzan, Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood and Yedlin are all on the field. Guzan didn’t participate because his wife was expecting their second child, while the others were dealing with injuries, illnesses and yellow-card suspension.

Now, it’s a matter of getting their timing down – and accustomed to the altitude.

“There’s no reason to make it an excuse,” midfielder Paul Arriola said. “Just doing the best we can to acclimate to it.”

Arena’s squad will get things rolling in a friendly against Venezuela in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday.

“That’s a good game for us,” Arena said. “It gives us a little bit of exercise at lower altitude, which isn’t perfect for what we need to do to get ready here and Mexico City, but it’s a start. Think it will be good to give a chance to 16 players and build from there – get us ready for Trinidad and Mexico.”

Stam after Reading playoff final loss: “Tough to take”

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jaap Stam has won silverware in three different leagues for five different teams, and has a Champions League title from his time at Manchester United.

He’s used to winning, and that includes his first stop as a full-time manager. And that makes Reading’s loss in Monday’s playoff final sting a bit more.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

Reading lost in penalty kicks and it’s not like the Royals were thoroughly outclassed by Huddersfield Town. But it still burns. From Sky Sports:

“You don’t want to play football to be in the grey areas, you want to get the max out of your career, win trophies and play at the highest level.

“It’s tough to take, but it has to be difficult. It’s not good to lose a game like this, you need to feel it and experience it and then take that forward if you get into the same moment again. The good players do that.”

Reading loses a trio of loan players — Lewis Grabban, Reece Oxford, and Jordon Mutch — as well as American midfielder Danny Williams. It won’t be easy for Reading to get back into the playoffs without an injection of money, but Stam’s first rodeo as a manager was a good ride that came up just short.

Wenger, Kroenke meet; Board to learn decision Tues.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
1 Comment

Wenger watch is entering its final hours.

The BBC is reporting that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke met with longtime manager Arsene Wenger on Monday to discuss the Frenchman’s future, and that the decision was going to be made together.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

It seems almost certain that Wenger is going to come back to the Emirates Stadium. From the BBC:

The outcome is unclear but the decision rests solely with Wenger and Kroenke and will be relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

Fresh terms were agreed in principle some months ago, but nothing is signed.

There have been questions about whether Wenger would accept a sporting director being placed above him, and if Kroenke believes the repercussions of keeping the boss would negatively impact the business.

Barcelona to keep goalkeeper Ter Stegen until 2022

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has reached a deal to extend the contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen until June 2022.

The club said the new agreement, which has a buyout clause of 180 million euros ($201 million), will be signed on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

Ter Stegen has been with the club since 2014, helping it win nine titles in three seasons.

The German goalkeeper has played 93 matches with Barcelona, conceding 90 goals in 71 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses.

Barcelona has already renewed the contracts of Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. It is still working on new deals for Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.